Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor


Mailing Address
Suite 1920, One Bentall Centre
505 Burrard Street, Box 85
Vancouver, BC
V7X 1M6
Phone: 1-877-787-2330
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 5:30 am to 5:00 pm PT

Qtrade Investor Review

Updated on: Feb. 8, 2019
Qtrade Investor – a division of Qtrade Financial Group – is an independent (non-bank owned) online brokerage headquartered out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite their smaller size, Qtrade has formed partnerships with many financial institutions, credit unions in particular, in order to provide online brokerage services to their partners’ clients. Early in 2013, Desjardins (parent to Desjardins Online Brokerage/Disnat) acquired a significant ownership portion in Qtrade.

As with their discount brokerage peers, Qtrade Investor allows clients to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. Qtrade is part of a small group of online brokerages that offers commission-free ETF trading on select ETFs. Click here for a detailed review of their commission-free ETFs.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $8.75
Best Commission Price $6.95
Minimum to Open Account $0
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETF Yes
Young Investor Offer Yes
Age range: 18-30

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

As of September 26th 2014, Qtrade is officially part of the group of online brokerages offering sub-$10 standard commission trades. Their new pricing has two tiers known as “investor” and “investor plus”.

For the “investor” pricing tier, equity commissions are $8.75 per trade and options trades are $8.75 + $1.25 per contract. The next commission pricing tier, “investor plus” offers clients equity commission fees of $6.95 per trade, however to be eligible for this pricing clients must either trade 150 (or more) times per quarter or have at least $500,000 in assets with Qtrade.
While they have reduced commission fees, Qtrade Investor has introduced administration fees of $25 per quarter for clients with combined Qtrade account balances under $25,000. Fortunately, the fee may be waived by placing at least 2 commission generating trades per quarter.

The fees for US dollar accounts has increased from $50 per year to $60 per year ($15/quarter) and the fee structure for registered accounts has also changed: the minimum threshold to avoid administration fee is now $25,000 (combined across all accounts) and the amount of the administration fee is now $100 per year.

Account Types

Qtrade offers self-directed investors two main categories of online trading accounts – “Investment Accounts” and “Self-Directed Registered Plans”.

The “Investment Accounts” consist of cash accounts and margin accounts, both which can be in either Canadian or US dollars.

The “Self-Directed Registered Plans” include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).

In both categories of account, individuals are able to trade stocks, bonds, mutual funds and options. Like other Canadian online brokerages, there are some restrictions. Short selling and complex options trading are only allowed in margin accounts and there are limitations on options trading in registered accounts.


Qtrade offers a primarily web-based trading platform. From web-based platform it is possible to perform the standard order functions present with most brokerages. In terms of accessing additional market data, Qtrade also offers Qtrade Streamer which provides 15 minute delayed data for $1.99/mo or $14.99 + exchange fees per month for real time. For level 2 depth, the cost comes to $34.99/mo + exchange fees.

Reviews & Ratings

Review What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Below Average
Below Average
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “A-”
Letter Grade “A”
Letter Grade “A”
1st out of 12
Letter Grade “A-”
2nd out of 12
Letter Grade “A”
1st out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
February 2019
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 2nd out of 10
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
Not Rated
5th out of 11
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Top Pick – User Experience
Top Pick – Best Overall
Runner Up – User Experience
Runner Up – Fees & Commissions
Runner Up – Reporting & Record Keeping
Runner Up – Market Data
Top Pick – Best Overall
June 2019
July 2018
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017


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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor

This topic contains 30 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Qtrade Sux 3 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 31 total)
  • Author
  • #29027 Reply

    Qtrade Sux

    “This place is the worst. Don’t get fooled by their misleading “Voted #1 Best…” Customer service is horrible.”

    I agree with all the disgruntled Qtrade clint victims here exposing Qtrade’s brutal incompetence and poor quality phone support.
    In addition to the wasted “on hold” times of up to 50 mins are then handled by arrogant rude phone support, coupled with disruptive and constantly inaccurate Level 2 quotes, grossly unreliable leaving absolute no confidence in share prices displayed.
    High trading fees and exorbitant costs of Qtrade accounts make this trading platform a nightmare.
    Deserves a rating of negative 10 with a strong “DO NOT DO BUISNESS” with this outfit.
    Better off investing with a nigerian telemarketer.

    #28942 Reply


    I have an RESP account for my niece with Qtrade. It has about $285 in it, which is not a large sum but it is over a years’ savings of birthday and Christmas money from a 9-year old girl. I am unhappy with the Qtrade platform and their ongoing $25/quarter fee, so I want to transfer the money and close my account. My new institution only supports parent/grandparent relationships with RESPs, so it looks like my best option is to cash out the RESP. Qtrade wants to charge me $125 for this transaction–nearly half of the money diligently saved for a child’s education!

    I also have a Qtrade TFSA account that I want to close. This transaction would also bear a $125 fee.

    A total fee of $250 to reclaim my own money is unjustly high and predatory, especially for a firm that markets itself as having “smaller prices”.

    Complaints can be sent to:

    #28887 Reply

    Doug Munton

    QTrade is the most difficult on line service to deal with . They just don’t care about looking after their clients. I have BMO and BNS on line accounts and if there is ever a problem they address it . Qtarde response ” Unfortunately each institution operates differently and offer different experiences /fees etc ” Very very disappointed with QTrade


    #28030 Reply


    I would second avoiding QTrade. I really don’t get any of the positive reviews (which was why I went with them initially). They have a ton of fees that are not super clear up front, and then when you take your money out they hit you with extra fees. I put a modest amount of money in a TFSA before realizing that I was being hit with almost $200 of fees per year, and deciding to remove my money. They then charged me almost $300 to take my money out. In total I ended up paying almost 10 PERCENT of my investment in Fees in under a year. Whether or not this was “clearly” spelled out in the fine print it was an awful experience. Coming from the US I am not used to the plethora of banking fees Canadian institutions charge but this was totally insane.

    On top of this there website looks like it is from 1998 and their customer service is poor.

    #28001 Reply

    BC Boy5440

    QTrade data is inaccurate. They do not calculate the yield accurately. They use the previous 12 months as an average. So when you get a dividend cut and a stock price decrease the yield is totally wrong. It makes me wonder what other numbers they provide that are not accurate. Frankly I am loosing confidence in this provider and now looking for someone who takes their data accuracy seriously.

    After contacting QTrade they don’t seem to take this issue seriously saying this is not even on the IT teams radar. I thought this would be considered a serious issue. I guess I was wrong.

    #28000 Reply


    I agree with the negative comments about QTrade. Incredibly high hidden fees (paying over $100/year on $6000), and now that I realized that and want to take my money out they is no way to do it without a physical cheque. Somehow that was not at all an issue in terms of getting the money into the account.

    Website is really poor, on top of that.


    #27924 Reply

    Jeff Ciraolo

    Qtrade has hidden fees that they aren’t transparent about. Good luck getting your money back once you fund your account. A portion of my money is being held hostage and they are refusing to give it up. Their website is also the most difficult I’ve see so far.

    #26716 Reply


    There is Level 2 data but it’ an extra paid service. You wouldn’t get that data on any platform for free, they offer this through Quotestream, I personally don’t use Lvl2 data but comparing it to other platforms that have that data for a price like TMX I think the prices are generally all the same. Even looking at the Bloomberg terminal, that’s like 2k a month

    #26699 Reply


    I have very bad experience with Qtrade.
    Their fees are high and hidden.
    Costumer service rude and weak.
    They made mistake several times by transferring my open positions from CAD account to USD account and vice versa.If I want to rate them; 1 or 2 over 5 will be adequate for them.
    I finally moved from that company.

    #25823 Reply

    Pat Rozitis

    I am looking at QTrade for my investment holdings. Between my wife and I, we have 8 accounts (2 RIFs, 2 TFSA’s, 3 Cash Accounts and a LIRA) Can I have all these “buckets” in my QTrade account?

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